Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 15th, 2012 - House of Leaves

I know, I know. It's been 16 whole days since this book club and I still haven't posted. But let's factor in a couple of things. Only one person showed up for this on the 15th (and that was more to return The Magicians to me.) And when I held another meeting a week later, only one person showed up again. A different one person.

That's ONLY TWO people, guys.

Look, here's a picture of snow, so you can see one of the reasons I was stood up.


House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski is one of the most awesomely screwed up books I've read, and I liked it much more than I expected to. But awesomely screwed up means that some people aren't going to like it, and since it's ginormous and makes you work a tiny bit to read it, most people won't stay committed.

Stay committed!

Basically, this old guy had been writing an analysis of a documentary made about a house that had random rooms appear that were larger on the inside than they were on the outside.

I would've immediately moved from such a house. BUT NO the documentarian had to be all "we have to figure out why this house is so weird!" and lots of awfulness ensues.

Anyway, the old guy's writings were found by a bar hopping/wannabe tattoo artist/crazy genius Johnny Trip who pieced it together, went a little crazy, and reconstructed it for publication inserting his own story through extensive footnotes. And that's what we, the reader, have.

So given that this is a documentary, told through an essay, told through a biography, you never really know what's true or not, but you should know that it gets kind of horror-moviesque sometimes.

I had problems reading it at night when I was alone in the house.

But I pushed through because my favorite class ever in college involved breaking apart Ovid's Metamorphoses and then seeing how it has been reflected in later literature and media. This definitely would've been assigned reading.

If you do read it, go read the appendices when they come up. There are lots of clues in there, one of them being a series of letters written while Johnny's mother was in a mental institution. They're quite heartbreaking.

 I will be posting quite a lot this month so enjoy that.

Did you notice that every time I wrote house I did it in blue?

No comments:

Post a Comment